CUSTOMS have discovered 55 kilos of cocaine hidden in the water intake compartment of a Norwegian cargo ship that was passing through Gibraltar.
A local diving company help Gibraltar’s Customs officers extract the large amount of illegal drugs with a street value of around €3 million from beneath the hull of the ship.
They found the two large packages in the ‘sea chest’ of the ‘Star Majesty’ after receiving intelligence about the drug smuggling attempt.
It is the second such find this year in Gibraltar waters.
Customs officers then interviewed all members of the crew.
But they gave them ‘no reason to believe that the crew was involved in this illicit enterprise or that the drugs were intended for Gibraltar,’ HM Customs said in a statement.
Royal Gibraltar Police sent their crime scene investigation unit to process and examine the seized cocaine.
Customs officers then released the ship to continue on its journey and continued their investigation.
Drug smugglers often attach the popular Class A drug to ships using divers at certain key ports.
The Customs chief said he was ‘extremely pleased’ with this latest operation.
“He is extremely proud of all the officers who have worked together from their respective land, sea and investigation teams to obtain this significant result,” the statement said.
“The procedures in place to curtail this sort of activity allow the department to punch above its own weight in fighting drug trafficking.”
Customs also thanked the RGP for their forensic support.
It follows the February seizure of over three times the amount of cocaine on another cargo ship hidden in the same place.
- Gibraltar customs officers locate secret cocaine stash in the hull of a passing cargo ship
- Over half a tonne of cocaine smuggled into Spain among bananas found in Malaga port
- Drug mules posed as tourists to smuggle cocaine to Spain’s Castellon area from Peru